Feeds

eBay: Botnets are Linux-happy

Security chief goes to the bank

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

eBay may soon offer online banking. It would seem.

This afternoon, while fielding questions about PayPal at Santa Clara University conference obsessed with "trust online," chief information security officer Dave Cullinane seemed to indicate eBay is interested in extending the popular online payment system to its logical conclusion.

"What we're trying to do is provide a trusted payment system that's within the community that constitutes eBay Inc., trying to be all things, but we aren't the bank yet," he said, before adding "Did I say yet?"

Cue audience laughter. But you have to wonder. Before joining eBay, Cullinane was the CISO at Washington Mutual, one of the largest banks in the US.

Or maybe we're just having fun.

During his hour-long keynote, Cullinane stuck mostly to generalizations when discussing eBay's security practices, but he had a few interesting things to say about his time with Washington Mutual.

At one point, he said, the bank spent a month as the largest phishing target in the country, and in fighting this ongoing problem, it has shutdown countless phishing sites surreptitiously installed on countless machines across the net.

"These things are incredibly sophisticated, and when they take over a computer, most [users] don't know it," he said. "With every single phishing site [Washington Mutual has] shutdown, not one person was aware been aware that their machine was compromised and used for phishing. That includes university servers and company servers and personal PCs and all sorts of things."

More interesting is that most of the compromised machines were not Windows machines. "The vast majority of [the phishing sites] we saw were on rootkit-ed Linux boxes, which was rather startling. We expected a predominance of Microsoft boxes and that wasn't the case."

This pleased Microsoft's head of Silicon Valley PR, who served as a conference sponsor.

Botnets are obviously a big problem for eBay as well, but Cullinane wouldn't quite say how big. "We see botnet attacks that are massive in their size and scope. We did a preliminary analysis and found over - I guess I'm not supposed to say that, what the number is - but we found a huge number of bots aimed specifically at eBay, trying to do things specifically to us."

The problem has become so bad that eBay operates under the assumption that every personal PC is infected, he says. "With the desktop, we're starting to run on the assumption that anyone who's trying to contact us from their own personal desktop is probably coming from a compromised computer." ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Google recommends pronounceable passwords
Super Chrome goes into battle with Mr Mxyzptlk
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
'Speargun' program is fantasy, says cable operator
We just might notice if you cut our cables
Reddit wipes clean leaked celeb nudie pics, tells users to zip it
Now we've had all THAT TRAFFIC, we 'deplore' this theft
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.